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'He works his nuts off!' - Ferdinand hails 'shining light' James as Man Utd drop more points

10:56 PM GMT+8 31/08/2019
Daniel James, Mason Greenwood, Man Utd
A former Old Trafford skipper believes his old club have a young man with the mentality to become one of the world's best

Former Manchester United captain Rio Ferdinand delivered a no-nonsense verdict of Daniel James' latest goalscoring performance in a Red Devils shirt, stating that the young Welshman 'works his nuts off' for the team.

United had to settle for a solitary point at St. Mary's on Saturday – despite James having put the visitors a goal up with a fine strike after just 10 minutes – meaning Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side have picked up just one win in their opening four games of the Premier League season.

Solskjaer himself said after the match that he sees signs of improvement from his team despite the result, and club legend Ferdinand echoed the thoughts of his former team-mate in highlighting James as a 'shining light'.

“I do [believe Man Utd are improving] – and through the likes of Daniel James,” Ferdinand told BT Sport after the match.

“The recruitment [over the summer], right or wrong... this kid today was the shining light in this team. He's the guy that they went to for any type of inspiration and any type of threat on goal came through this guy.

“Yes, he makes mistakes – he's young, that's going to happen, you'd be naïve and silly to think that it won't. But what I will give you is that this boy works his nuts off. He actually gets up there and takes responsibility. He wants the ball and when he gets in there he causes problems. He's a threat.

“What I like about him is that he wants the ball. He'll take the ball, he'll make a mistake, he jumps up, dusts himself down... 'gimme it again'. That's the mentality of top players. Top players don't shirk responsibility, they welcome it.”

One player who earned Ferdinand's ire, however, was centre-back Victor Lindelof, who didn't do enough to protect his goal-line in the eyes of the former England international.

“Lindelof is the main culprit,” he said. “This is a personal pride, when you look at yourself and say ‘am I doing all I can there?’

“That six yard box is where as a centre half you go and earn your keep. Go and take responsibility and deal with it.”

Man Utd next face Leicester City on September 14, following the international break.